The Maharastra Cabinet has requested Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to reimpose a “strict lockdown” across the state, with a formal decision on the guidelines expected to be announced around 8 pm on Wednesday, PTI quoted state Health Minister Rajesh Tope as saying.

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Tope said that the state has not received any guidelines from the Centre regarding vaccination of those above the age of 18 years. He also said that the chief minister has called for the vaccination drive to continue in full swing, and that if the need arises, they will ask the Centre to purchase vaccines from foreign countries. 

“All the cabinet ministers expressed views in favour of a strict lockdown to minimise the spread of COVID-19. Ministers come from all corners of the state, so it also indicates that the entire state needs this measure,” ANI quoted Tope as saying.

“Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray could make an official announcement about more stringent measures tomorrow,” he added. 

The Cabinet has also decided to cancel the class 10th board exams in the state, he said, adding that class 12th exams will “certainly be held”. 

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On oxygen availability, the health minister said the state was “managing with 1,550 metric tonnes of oxygen” per day at present.

“The state has been allowed to get 300 MT of oxygen from other states. The Centre can allot us another 300 MT, but we can not get more than 2,000 MT, overall,” he said.

“Using oxygen generators is the only option we have. A couple of tenders have been floated already for the purchase of oxygen generators. We have asked district collectors to consider those rates as base point and issue purchase orders,” Tope added.